Acts 7:54-8:1

The Jewish leaders kill Stephen

54 The group of Jewish leaders listened to Stephen. What he said made them very angry. They bit their teeth together because they were so angry. 55 But the Holy Spirit filled Stephen. He looked up to heaven and he saw a very bright light. He saw how great God is. He also saw Jesus, who was standing at the right side of God. 56 ‘Look!’ Stephen said. ‘I can see into heaven itself. It is open! I can see the Son of Man and he is standing at the right side of God!’

7:56The Son of Man is another name for Jesus. Jesus often called himself the Son of Man when he talked to people. Jesus was ready to receive Stephen into heaven.

57 When the Jewish leaders heard this, they put their hands over their ears. Then they shouted very loudly at Stephen and they all ran towards him. 58 They took hold of Stephen and they pulled him out of the city. They removed their coats. They gave them to a young man to keep them safe. This young man was called Saul. Then they began to throw stones at Stephen to kill him.

59 While the men were throwing stones at him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, please receive my spirit as I die.’ 60 Then he fell down on his knees. He shouted, ‘Lord, please forgive these men. Do not punish them because they are doing this to me.’ After Stephen said this, he died.

Acts 8

1 Saul was standing there while the Jewish leaders killed Stephen. He agreed with what they did.

Saul puts many believers in prison

On the same day that Stephen died, the group of believers who lived in Jerusalem began to have great trouble. People did bad things to them. All the believers left Jerusalem and went to other places in Judea and Samaria. Only Jesus' 12 apostles stayed in Jerusalem.